Moses the Singer

By Mark W. Sasse

 

Book Blurb

A talented group of teen musicians. A stateless old man living on the margins of society. What do they have in common? Humanity and sweet music.

Will, Sanchez, Song-Yi, and Stephanie attend an American international school on the island of Penang, Malaysia. But at night, they are a talented band of musicians striving to win their school’s talent show, so they can further their dreams of becoming professional musicians.

Musa “Moses” Marbun has been without a country for forty-six years. The crippled and destitute rickshaw driver pedals tourists through the quaint streets of Penang’s capital city to meet his daily needs.

One day when downtown, Song-Yi witnesses Musa being beaten on a sidewalk for a theft he didn’t commit. As she intervenes on his behalf, an unlikely friendship ensues, which puts the band on a collision course with musical destiny while Musa hopes to end his decades long journey through the wilderness by confronting his past.

Introducing the Band:
Song-Yi, lead singer
Will, guitarist & composer
Sanchez, bass guitarist
Stephanie, percussionist
Moses the Singer

Book Blurb from Goodreads 

 

My Review

I love everything Mark Sasse writes, and Moses the Singer did not disappoint.  The story starts out in two different time periods. Musa “Moses” Marbun sought asylum in Malaysia where he is mistreated and lives in poverty, driving a rickshaw to eke out a meager living. Yet, through all, his smile never fades.

A group of teens (Song-Yi, lead singer; Will, guitarist & composer; Sanchez, bass guitarist; and Stephanie, percussionist) start a band with the hope of winning a school talent contest.  As fate has it, Musa and the teens chance to meet and the band discovers that Musa has a talent for singing. The love and compassion that develops as the band members befriend Musa is truly heartwarming.

This story is a testament to humanity. It is filled with compassion and the gifts of friendship and how they shaped the relationship between an old man and a group of youths.  It is a story that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.

This YA novel will appeal to everyone from teen through all adults. It is my favorite of Mark Sasse’s books to date.

My thanks to the author and to BookSirens for the ARC of Moses the Singer.
My honest review is not impacted by this gift.

 

About the Author

Photo from Goodreads

Mark is a proud Western PA native but has lived most of the last twenty years in Vietnam, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia. His overseas experiences have redefined everything including his palate, his outlook on life, and naturally his writing.

He has published eight novels, including his Forgotten Child Trilogy.

His interests cast a wide net – from politics to literature – to culture and language – to history and religion – making his writing infused with the unexpected as he seeks to tell authentic and engaging stories about people from all walks of life. His writing is straightforward and accessible to all, especially those who enjoy writing injected with doses of culture, history, adventure, and delightful humor. You never know what you might get when you pick up a Sasse novel.

Besides novel-writing, Sasse is a prolific dramatist, having written and produced more than a dozen full-length dramatic productions. He especially is fond of the short play format and has twice won the Best Script award at the Short & Sweet Theatre Festival Penang. His plays and short musicals have also been produced in New York City, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney. His play “The Last Bastion” was awarded the Greywood Arts Winter Residency 2018 in Ireland. Performances of his scripts also won Gold and Bronze medals at the Southeast Asian Forensics Competition 2014.

His professional background is as diverse as his writing. He holds master’s degrees from California State University Dominquez Hills and Azusa Pacific University in Humanities and TESOL respectively. His undergraduate degree was in English, which helped him develop his passion for creative writing. He has extensive experience in teaching English, history, and drama.

On top of all of this, he loves to cook everything from gourmet pizzas, to Mexican, to various Asian dishes. Flavor is the key of both his cooking and his writing. He very much hopes you enjoy the taste.

Published Novels and Short Stories of Mark W. Sasse
2019 The Forgotten Child (Book 3)
2018 The African Connection (Forgotten Child Trilogy Book 2)
2017 A Man too Old for a Place too Far (Forgotten Child Trilogy Book 1)
2016 Which Half David: A Modern-day King David Story
2015 A Love Story for a Nation (coming in July) – Kindle & Paperback
2014 If Love is a Crime: A Christmas Story – Kindle only
2014 The Reach of the Banyan Tree – Kindle & Paperback
2013 The Recluse Storyteller – Kindle & Paperback
2012 Beauty Rising – Kindle & Paperback

Author Bio from Goodreads

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The Faerie Tree

By Jane Cable

 

The Faerie TreeCover Blurb

How can a memory so vivid be wrong?

In the summer of 1986 Izzie and Robin hold hands around the Faerie Tree on the banks of the River Hamble and wish for a future together, but just hours later tragedy strikes and they do not see each other again for twenty years.

In the winter of 2006 Izzie spots a down and out on the streets of Winchester – a man who looks very familiar…

     The Faerie Tree pieces together Robin’s and Izzie’s stories and the people they have now become, but it becomes increasingly clear that their memories of twenty years before are completely different. Whose version of the past is right? And what part does the Faerie Tree play in their story?

Following on from the success of The Cheesemaker’s House, Jane Cable once again mixes mystery and romance with a sprinkling of folklore to keep you turning the pages from beginning to end.

 

My Review

In 1986 Izzie and Robin meet, and are drawn to the Faerie Tree on the banks of the Hamble.  The Faerie Tree is reputed to grant wishes, so amongst the ribbons, necklaces, and letters, Robin and Izzie wish for a life together.  Just a few hours later, tragedy sets events in motion and their lives take separate paths.

In the winter of 2006, after Izzie’s husband dies, Izzie and Robin’s paths cross once again.  They have each faced their own heartbreaking moments, and the tragedies of those moments have colored their memories of their last days together in different ways.

Izzie’s daughter Claire is the voice of calm in the rising tide of emotional outbursts.

This is a story of family relationships, love, and loss. A powerful telling of the events that shaped the lives of the characters, the story unfolds with sensitivity and warmth.

Author Jane Cable developed believable characters that are flawed and anguished, and yet ultimately strong and determined to get beyond their pasts and accept the love each has for the other.

The Faerie Tree was an enjoyable read from page one to the end. Once I started it, I had a hard time putting it down. I recommend it to all fans of women’s contemporary fiction.

Why The Faerie Tree? You’ll have to read to find out.

A copy of The Faerie Tree was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

Published through Matador, the book is available in all e-book formats and as a paperback.Jane Cable

Publication date for the ebook was March 21st and the paperback on April 28th

It is 300 pages long

The genre is women’s contemporary fiction (romance/suspense)

 

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